Type: Boulder
FA: John Gill
Page Views: 3,559 total · 17/month
Shared By: Mike Sofranko on Oct 20, 2001
Admins: James Schroeder, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

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Yet another 'bolder' problem at Rotary Park. Begin near the left side of the west face of the Eliminator Boulder. Grab the only hold on the face with your right hand, grab a rounded corner with your left, get your feet up, and lunge way left for the obvious crack. Getting there is the easy part, holding on and controlling your swing is the key. Once you're back under control, get a foot in the crack, and pull up on jugs to the top.

Harder folks will do this static. Showboat types will do a double dyno. I've seen folks fall on this without a TR, and it is a scary sight. I used the TR setup for the Horsetooth Hang, and got the problem relatively easily, such that I doubt the V5 grade. But, this is one that I just can't ever see myself doing ropeless - it is even more committing than the Pinch as far as I'm concerned.


Several crash pads, mattresses, large and strong spotters who like you. Or, for the sane, weak, and shameless - a TR rig.


- No Photos -
Mike Sofranko  
Actually, I think this problem is really height dependent. I'm tall, and it's a one move wonder big reach out left. Also, I'm a pretty weak boulderer. V5 is *way* over my limit. I did this problem after a couple tries. I have *never* been able to pull both feet off the ground on a power V5 problem. Granted, I would have died on my first attempt except for the TR.

So the question is, should the difficulty rating of a problem reflect the danger of a problem? I always thought the consensus was NO (here in the USA). Oct 22, 2001
Actually, I had heard that Gill, for good reason, practiced some or all of his classic Rotary Park problems on a TR. Takes nothing away from his vision or achievements, but it should be noted. The Thimble, on the other hand ...

A V5 move should = a V5 move, whether on TR or with a scary ankle-breaking fall. It's not like the difference between biking and running the Boston Marathon course. Oct 22, 2001
Mike, I was not trying to say the problem is not easier than V5 or harder, or about your bouldering ability. I think when doing a boulder problem, you have to take into consideration all of the factors involve, such as moves, how high, landing and when the problem was establish. A 5.11a move feels easier to me with a bolt at my face than one 20 feet out (i.e. the moves on Jules Verne as compared to a 5.11a at Table Mountain) from my last piece of gear. They are both 5.11a moves, but the consequences of not making the move are a little different. That is why rock climbing routes have a r or x next to rating. To let you know there there is a little more involved than your well-protected route. Many highball problems have been establish without the benfit of bouldering pads, spotters or toprope. To AC who think a V5 move is a V5 move. Explain to me why the Pinch Overhang sees a lot less traffic than a V5 right off the ground. Hey, they are both V5? Bob D. Oct 22, 2001
As far as the V scale goes, I always thought a V5 move = V5 regardless of the protection. The difference is that if you do the Pinch Overhang, it carries much more mental kick than a V5 like the Punk Rock Traverse because of the mental aspect of the problem. The same goes for a 5.11 at Table Mountain, vs a 5.11 classic in Eldo. Moves should be graded objectively, but the classic nature of a route and the bragging rights that go along with completing a scary route is what gives the route its flavor. Ratings are to give a techincal evaluation of the moves, and act as a guide to a route that one may try. They are not meant, at least as far as I can tell, to encompass all the subjective aspects of the route. These are obviously important historical and qualitative characteristics, but should be kept separate from the technical rating, hence r, x and the star ratings. Oct 22, 2001
Problems are all graded according to the moves, not the danger (in most cases).

I don't really know of anyone who would call somewhat dangerous problems like Pinch or Right Eliminator easy for the grade. I certainly wouldn't.

The reason why people don't get on Pinch as much as a less risky V5 is 'cause of the ankle-buster rock below the sketchy top out (I've fallen on it. It sucks!). Oct 22, 2001
Chris Dawson
Grand Junction, CO
Chris Dawson   Grand Junction, CO
All I have to say is that this is a very height-dependant move. I am about 6'1" or 6'2" and I can do this move with my right hand on the starting hold. If one is much shorter, a full-on dino is necessary, making the stick quite a bit harder. Whether or not it's V5, I don't know. It's certainly a lot easier for me than Helicopter (Morrison). Nov 14, 2001
Bob, I hate to get into an argument with you because I have the deepest respect for what you've done at Shelf; but coming from someone who got to climb with Gill in those days, he almost always used a rope when it was possible to set up a top-rope (but not the Thimble, his crowning glory). The Left Eliminator isn't a reachy problem; I've seen people 5'10" stick it staticly, and add Mark W.'s name to the list of showboaters that used to play all over this route. The point of bouldering is to distill dificulity to it's essence. Height or fear aren't a figure in the bouldering equation; at least that's what we thought in '70 when I first started pulling on Gill's "Flatiron" at Devil's Lake, WS. I agree with the V5 rating of the Left Eliminator, it's (or was before a 100 people a weekend trashed the original holds of the Right Eliminator) a little bit harder than the Right. Does having to use a rope somehow make the climb less worthy? At what point do we try to make a distinction between a "highball" and an "solo". Ericson and Furguson put up multiple "high-ball, on-sight "problems" in Eldo and because they didn't use a rope we shouldn't either because we have to ALWAYS follow the first ascentionest's style, right? If we have to use a rope on "Blind Faith" is it any different than retrobolting "Hot Flyer"? How about the climber on a "chipped" route than can bypass the manufactured holds? Are you going to make a distinction regarding Derek and all the routes he soloed and say because he didn't use "manufactured" protection then nobody is allowed to place pro anymore on a route that has been soloed? I can see it now, a sign at the start of the Naked Edge or Casual Route or Astroman, "No Ropes Allowed" ! How would you feel if somebody went about chopping every one of your routes that he was able to solo? I'm really sorry but I must have missed (or been too tripped out back then as another poster said of me) the day that climbing wasn't for fun any more, but a business, with sponsors and endorsements and contracts :( (I didn't used to be this "crotchity" but I'm getting there really quick!) Jan 8, 2002
Hey, Bob D'Antonio, if you knew anything about ratings, then you would know that they have nothing to do with the ground beneath the problem. If you think I am wrong, just read the ratings section in "Freedom of the Hills". Neither the Gill scale or the V-scale rate problems by their landings. Jul 25, 2003
Hey, Krister Sorenson (aka Anonymous Coward)- if you are going to start personal attacks on people, at least post your name instead of trying, in vain, to hide behind anonymity. Jul 25, 2003
Andy Johnson  
Ok, folks, I just can't help myself with this one. The above discussion clearly shows that climbers are getting soft. The landing is not that bad. Hang it out once in a while, and you might be surprised. I tried this with one pad and no spotters and took probably forty falls before I got this problem. Do you all wear helmets while bouldering so you don't bump your heads while walking? Also, you might want to wear some ankle braces and knee pads in case you trip. Just relax. You'll be fine. Jul 13, 2004
Joseph Crotty
Broomfield, CO
Joseph Crotty   Broomfield, CO
Back in the mid to late '80s in the time before crash pads, it was well known that a climber had broken their leg falling off this rig and partially landing on the large block in the landing area. Everyone knew if you botched this problem you could get seriously hurt. Nov 10, 2018